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'Top Dog' Fundraiser Benefits Breast Cancer Research

Vote for your favorite pooch in Chelsea beginning Sept. 27 and help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

It's every pooch (and business) for itself in Chelsea as the 2012 Top Dog of Chelsea contest, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, returns for a second year.

Twelve restaurants will participate in the event, which kicks-off on Sept. 27. Patrons can vote for a restaurant’s sponsored dog as often as they wish and at each restaurant; votes cost a minimum of $1.

The restaurants include Arctic Breakaway Restaurant, Chelsea Lanes/Antique Mall, Chelsea Tree House, Cleary’s Pub, Ellie’s Place, Global Marketplace, PanchoVilla, Seitz’s Tavern, Stiver’s, Thompson’s Pizzeria, Uptown Coney Island and Wolverine Food and Spirits.

Participating pooches include an Australian cattle dog, boxer, Boston terrier, French bulldog, golden retriever, labrador; and the lineup features purebreds, mixed mutts and a coupleof “rescue dogs.”

Some restaurants are sponsoring a team of canine competitors, while others feature solo stars.

The contest is the brainchild of Sharon Township resident Barb Marshall, and Thompson’s Pizzeria owner Lynda Collins, who launched the fundraiser in 2011 with six restaurants.

All money raised will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Walk, taking place 9 a.m. Oct. 27 at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.

In her 10th consecutive year in the walk, Marshall has raised $11,200 in donations this year. Her nine-year total is just over $128,000.

“I’m truly humbled and grateful for everyone’s generous support,” she said.

Marshall, who has seen many friends and family members battle breast cancer, timed her contest to coincide with the “Paint Chelsea Pink” event on Sept. 29, a citywide fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Event organizers Lt. Scott Basar of the Chelsea Area Fire Authority and Jessica Milliken at the Chelsea Teddy Bear Company are working with Marshall to promote the fundraiser.

“I’m so excited to have 12 businesses — double what we did last year — agree to sponsor an entry in this year’s Top Dog contest,” Marshal said. “You must visit each respective establishment to vote, so this is also a way to check out some great businesses and restaurants in Chelsea.

"I can’t thank these businesses enough for their willingness to participate, and I know they have a lot of fun things planned to promote their own dog throughout the course of the contest. I hope we have a lot of fun with this and raise lots of money," she said.

For more information, visit http://main.acsevents.org/goto/barbmarshall.

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